Financial Services and Fintech Mission

AmCham and the US Chamber of Commerce bring top firms together for in-depth talks with top Indonesian officials

By Mary R Silaban
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

As part of the 2017 US-Indonesia Investment Initiative, AmCham Indonesia and the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) brought together US companies in the financial services and financial technology (fintech) sectors for meetings with high ranking Indonesian government officials including finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the new leadership of the OJK and other stakeholders.

The Financial Services and Fintech Mission, held on September 13-15, was the Initiative’s third mission of 2017, following the Innovation Mission in February and the Creative Economy Mission in June.

Issues discussed during the mission included the digital economy, e-commerce, fintech, insurance, the national payment gateway, over the top (OTT) services, cyber security, financial inclusion and the regulatory reform process. The meetings provided a platform for companies to hear updates from officials, and to share their concerns over policies that might hamper their operations in Indonesia.

Among others, the delegation met with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati; Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Industry; and Rudiantara, Minister of Information. The group also met Wimboh Santoso, the new head of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and Riswinandi, OJK Commissioner for Non-Bank Financial Services;

The Transformation Office at Bank Indonesia invited the delegation for a productive discussion on the National Payment Gateway and the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy briefed the group on economic priorities.

“The response from companies to the mission was very enthusiastic,” said AmCham Managing Director Lin Neumann. “This is a vibrant area with regulatory challenges in insurance, Fintech, OTT and elsewhere. The officials came to the table ready and willing to seek solutions.”

The delegation also exchanged views with the US Ambassador to Indonesia, Joseph Donovan and had dinner with Thomas Lembong, the Chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). From the private sector, Aji Satria Suleiman, Executive Director of the Indonesian Fintech Association, briefed the group and there was also a round table with local industry stakeholders. 

An opening reception for the mission was combined with an AmCham networking evening and drew about 200 people, making it one of AmCham’s largest receptions of the year.

The delegation offered input on a controversial plan to require all domestic electronic payments to pass through a new National Payment Gateway. While supportive of Indonesia’s desire to host its own payments system, the American companies want to be sure they are facing a level playing field.

Another issue is OTT services. Like governments worldwide, Indonesia hopes to capture more revenue from companies in the app-based digital space. The mission raised concerns about a new draft regulation on OTT and its possible impact on investment and received assurances that that further consultations would be held. The requirement to open local data centers for companies in Indonesia was also discussed in depth with the result that both KOMINFO and the OJK are showing more flexibility on the issue.

Insurance companies on the mission raised issues related to market penetration, re-insurance mandates and equity limits.

The engagement will hopefully keep the doors open for shaping policies that are more business friendly. The companies also offered help to the Indonesian government: S&P Global, for example, offered assistance in regard to the finance ministry’s plan to introduce more debt instruments to the Indonesian market, while IBM offered help on cyberattack issues.

AmCham Indonesia also offered to be part of a renewed “Forum Komunikasi,” which would be established by the OJK as a stakeholder forum.

AmCham and the US Chamber of Commerce would like thank all the companies that joined the mission: Chubb, MetLife, Visa, Mastercard, RGA, TransUnion, IBM, S&P Global and UBER.

Next up: See you at the US-Indonesia Investment Summit on Nov. 2, 2017!   

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